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Capobianco and McKellar Join Elmira of the ECHL

Courtesy: Canisius College Athletics
Release: 03/28/2014
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Goalie Tony Capobianco and defender Duncan McKellar both signed contracts to join Elmira of the ECHL after finishing their careers with the Canisius College hockey team.

The most decorated netminder in the program’s history, Capobianco enjoyed a record-breaking career in his four seasons at Canisius. He finished his tenure with school records in saves (3,061), save percentage (.920), goals against average (2.71) and shutouts (eight).

“I’m definitely excited to be taking the next step in my career,” Capobianco said. “Growing up, I always wanted to play professional hockey and Canisius has really helped me get there. Being with the program has not only helped me grow as a goalie, but also as a person and I’m really thankful for the opportunity. I knew that playing at Canisius could help me take this step to the next level and Coach Smith really helped prepare me for that.”

Capobianco also owns four-single-season records set during the 2012-13 campaign, while leading the Griffs to their first conference championship. He set the program’s standards in saves (1,256), save percentage (.929), shutouts (four) and goaltender victories (18). Capobianco’s 1,256 saves rank as the 12th-most in NCAA history and the most since the 1988-89 campaign.

The Mississauga, Ontario native also proved to be a clutch postseason player during his career, helping Canisius to the 2013 Atlantic Hockey Championship and a second appearance in the title game in 2014. In 13 career Atlantic Hockey Tournament games, Capobianco owns an 11-2-0 record, 2.35 goals against average, .936 save percentage and eight shutouts. A member of the 2013 Atlantic Hockey All-Tournament Team, he owns the top two saves marks in the tournament’s history (249 in 2014; 235 in 2013).

“I am thrilled to see Tony sign his first professional contract,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “His play on the ice has helped him develop into a top college hockey goaltender, especially in the last two seasons with two trips to the conference title game and a championship in 2013. His development over the last four years have prepared him for the opportunity and I’m anxious to watch him grow as a professional hockey player.”

McKellar appeared in 88 career games with the Griffs, mainly as a defender. The Phoenix, Ariz. native totaled 26 career points on four goals and 22 assists during his Canisius tenure, including two of the biggest goals in the program’s history. McKellar scored the game-winning tally in back-to-back games in the 2013 Atlantic Hockey Quarterfinals (against Air Force in overtime) and Semifinals (against nationally-ranked Niagara) to help lead the Griffs to their first conference championship.

“Duncan has a great opportunity to showcase his tremendous size and skating at the professional level,” Smith said. “He has played forward and defense with us in his four seasons and has developed a game that could translate very well to the professional level.”

Capobianco and McKellar are the 22nd and 23rd players to move to the professional ranks after playing for Coach Smith at Canisius. Elmira is the ECHL affiliate with the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators of the NHL and the Albany Devils and Binghamton Senators of the AHL.

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